While usually the domain of casual workers, the Australian arm of a global SIM card maker is being taken to court for allegedly underpaying a salaried employee.
Having already been fined $59,400 in 2013 for underpaying migrant workers, Lycamobile is again facing court for allegedly underpaying an employee at its NSW headquarters.
Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Kristen Hannah said the decision to take legal action was made because of the retail giant’s alleged failure to put in place adequate corrective processes after the 2013 penalty decision.
However, this latest case revolves around the amount of overtime required of a salaried employee, who was contracted between 2012 and 2015 for a full-time 40-hour week plus “reasonable additional hours”.
The worker was paid a base annual salary of between $33,867 and $37,742, as well as “allowances” and “arrears” for overtime work.
It is alleged the employee regularly worked overtime hours, including on Saturdays, and the Fair Work Ombudsman alleges the additional payments above the base salary are “insufficient to satisfy the minimum entitlements for overtime hours under the Award”, amounting to an underpayment of $5,264.
While the amount has been paid back to the employee in full, FWO is pushing ahead with its legal action against the company.
“It is of grave concern whenever we uncover allegations that an employer has failed to learn from past mistakes,” Ms Hannah said.
“We make it clear that while we understand oversights sometimes occur, we take a dim view of those who make repeated errors and will not hesitate to pursue serious enforcement action when we come across these allegations.”
Lycamobile faces penalties of up to $54,000 per contravention. The Federal Circuit Court is due to hear the matter on 2 February, 2018.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.